Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has pronounced punishment for students who were suspected to be involved in a scuffle with Najeeb Ahmed, after which he went missing on October 14.
The four suspects, members of the RSS-backed ABVP, have been issued a “strict warning” and may have to shift out of their hostel room. The punishment is only recommendatory.
Ahmed, a postgraduate student of bio-technology who was also involved in the scuffle, has now been missing for 54 days. There have been protests both on and off campus over his disappearance.
Officials said the inter-hall administration (IHA), the body which looks after issues related to hostels, will decide whether the suspects should be asked to shift out or not.
These students were earlier sent show cause notices the by the chief proctor. As per the notice, the accused were found to be involved in “hitting”, and using “derogatory language with provocative behaviour” with Ahmed.
“Chief proctor has submitted its proctorial enquiry report on the incident of Mahi-Mandovi Hostel. The report has identified the students involved in the reported scuffle, and has recommended their immediate transfer from their present hostel... a strong warning should be issued to these students,” a statement from dean of students said on Thursday.
However, the students accused the administration of giving “mild punishments” to the ABVP members.
“When notices to students involved in hitting Najeeb and using derogatory words with provocative intention clearly mentioned these details, why the JNU vice chancellor has reduced it to a mere scuffle?,” JNU students’ union (JNUSU) president Mohit Pandey said.
“This punishment shows that even if ABVP activists nearly lynch somebody they will get away lightly,” he said.
The ABVP alleged the inquiry committee fabricated facts and establish half-truths that never took place under pressure from the Left-dominated students’ union, teachers and political leaders.
“Even for minor acts of indiscipline in JNU, the minimum penalty is pecuniary. The chief proctor did not find any evidence of violence and that is why this punishment is being given to make the political bosses happy,” said Saurabh Sharma of ABVP, former joint secretary, JNUSU.
The university administration said that it will “revisit” the order given to Ahmad to vacate the hostel when he returns. “The administration wants Najeeb to know that he can come back without any fear as the disciplinary action against him will be reconsidered,” sources said.